28 February 2013

Manuscripts Online - launched today!

Manuscripts Online is a free database - launched today - and funded by Jisc.

Using it, you can search a wide range of online primary sources relating to written and early printed culture in Britain, during the period 1000-1500.

Contents include literary manuscripts, historical documents and early printed books on websites owned by libraries, archives, universities and publishers. These provide a wealth of data central to the study of English language, literature and history during the middle ages.

Contribute to a new cultural picture of medieval Britain by using the crowd sourcing feature, where you can add comments about the manuscripts you view, to an online map.

  • Middle English Grammar Project – the Middle English Grammar Corpus (MEG-C); Middle English texts transcribed from manuscript or facsimile reproduction
  • Late Medieval English Scribes – catalogue of all scribal hands in the manuscripts of the English writings of five major Middle English authors
  • The Taxatio - detailed records of the assessment of English and Welsh ecclesiastical wealth undertaken in 1291-1292
  • The National Archives - descriptive catalogues for all documents dating between 1000-1500 from collections such as the State Papers, records of the Admiralty, Chancery and Exchequer, the Court of the King’s Bench and Petitions and Seals
Visit Manuscripts Online for a full list of the resources.

NB: Manuscripts Online partners the Jisc-funded Connected Histories website which provides a similar search service for the period 1500-1900.

27 February 2013

Using Digital Media in Teaching and Learning

26 February 2013

Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection - new online talks added monthly

Over 1,000 online talks have been added to The Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection, produced by Henry Stewart Talks, since the Library purchased it in June 2012.

You now have permanent access to over 1,600 specially commissioned seminar-style online talks by leading world experts, including Nobel Laureates, in this collection.

B&LSC covers both the latest research and developments, as well as the fundamentals of a subject, making it doubly useful as a research and continuing professional development tool, and as an innovative teaching tool.

Main subject areas are:
Recent talks added in the last 12 months include:
NB: New talks are added monthly (register for updates).

19 February 2013

Over 6,500 digitised musem objects freely available

© UCL. Released under
  CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license
Over 6,500 newly digitised museum objects from museum collections are now freely available, from University College London and the University of Reading.

All are free to view, download and use with a Creative Commons licence. 

Examples of images on Flickr 

Objects include rare Ancient Egyptian artefacts brought to life in 21st Century 3D; digital images of zoological specimens in glass jars; strange and beautiful anatomical prints; 16th Century portraits, and intriguing 19th Century scientific gadgets, covering a range of disciplines from sciences to the arts.

View the digitised objects via the Culture Grid, the UK gateway to heritage resources.

Open Educational Resources (OER) such as videos and worksheets, are also available to support and enhance object-based teaching and learning. 

These can be accessed through JORUM, the online educational resource sharing website (using the search term OBL4HE).

18 February 2013

"A Shower of fish..." - The Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1791-1845

"On 13th June of that year, there fell near Castlehill, a shower of fish, consisting chiefly of herring-fry" 

 "The people of Airdrie seem to have a peculiar foible of keeping a great number of useless dogs..."

"WILLIAM HUNTER was cured in 1758 of an inveterate rheumatism by drinking freely of new ale full of barm"

Just some fascinating snippets from The Statistical Accounts of Scotland Online - among the best contemporary reports of Scottish life from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Accounts were based largely on information supplied by Church ministers in the 938 Scottish parishes, and they provide a fascinating record of a wide range of topics: 

wealth, class and poverty; climate, agriculture, fishing and wildlife; population, schools, and the moral health of the people. 

The reports have been scanned and transcribed, and the online service includes:
  • scanned images for browsing
  • PDF download for parish reports
  • parish links to the Gazetteer for Scotland ... etc
Use this resource to study the emergence of the modern British State and the economic and social impact of the agricultural and industrial revolutions in Europe.

Quick Reference Guide

N.B. Follow the Twitter feed for fascinating facts and observations.

14 February 2013

A New Type of e-Book Trial - help us to help you!

Have you noticed that we've added over 28,700 e-book titles to SAULCAT, this week? 

We're running a bit of an experiment - a new type of trial to assess which additional e-books you might be interested in having access to.

The trial offers access to e-books in a wide range of subjects, and is designed to help us gauge your levels of interest in specific e-books and subject areas. 
You'll be able to access all these full-text e-books, for a short preview - the SAULCAT record for each trial e-book mentions this:
     "Connect to e-book - you can preview the whole e-book for a short time; the most popular titles may be purchased, during this trial”

and the access information generated during the trial will provide very valuable data for the Library.

This evidence will be used to support purchases of popular e-book titles, identified by you, from funds allocated for this purpose ('normal' book buying will not be affected by this trial). 

The end result of this innovative partnership with Library users should be a highly focused collection of well-used, permanent-access e-books.

We're looking forward to seeing which titles are of interest, and we greatly appreciate your involvement in this 'experiment'.   

We hope that you will find this new e-book assessment method useful. Do please let us have your comments about it.

12 February 2013

Trial e-Resource - The Encyclopedia of Ancient History

We currently have a trial of The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, which will run until 7 March 2013.

This is widely regarded as a definitive reference work for this subject, offering authoritative contemporary scholarship on the entire ancient Mediterranean world - Greece, Rome, the Near East and Pharaonic Egypt.

Over 5,000 entries cover from the late Bronze Age to the 7th Century CE, and are written and edited by an international team of scholars and editors.

The online version of the 13-volume print work, offers:
  • clear definitions and explanations of key people, places, and events
  • hundreds of illustrations - photographs, figures, and maps
  • new updates and regular revisions
  • reference linking and export to reference manager options
  • content sharing through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites
NB: The Encyclopedia of Ancient History was given an Honorable Mention for the 2013 Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference publications, by a division of the American Library Association

7 February 2013

New e-Resource - Central and Eastern European Online Library

The Central and Eastern European Online Library (C.E.E.O.L) database has been subscribed to, by the Library, and is now available to you.

C.E.E.O.L is an important online archive which offers access to over 878 scholarly, full-text humanities and social science e- journals, and digitised material on Central, Eastern and South Eastern European topics.

Subject areas cover the full spectrum of humanities and social studies journals - anthropology, culture and society, economics, European studies, fine arts, gender studies, history, Judaic studies, linguistics, literature, philology, philosophy, politics, religion, social sciences and theology.

As well as e-journals, it offers research reports and papers, cultural magazines covering poetry, reviews and literature, etc.

Links to the individual journals will appear in SAULCAT shortly, to enable easy access, and also in the E-journals web pages.

Off-campus access is being set up, and will use  your University Username and Password.